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Salvatore "Bucket" Russo
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Birth: Sep. 7, 1879
Sicilia, Italy
Death: 1937
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA

Salvatore RUSSO
Birth 7 Sep 1879 in Isola Delle Femmine, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Death Living
Death 7 Dec 1937 in San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

"SALVATORE RUSSO was born September 07, 1879 in Isola delle Femmine, Palermo Province, Sicily. In adulthood, he stood 5'5", weighed 145 pounds, and had black hair and brown eyes.

Salvatore's nickname, and the nickname for all of his Russo line for generations to come, was "Bucket". The story behind the nickname, as told by his son Frank Russo, was that one of the Russo ancestors was a "middleman", someone who bought fish from the boats to sell to the markets. At that time a scale was used to weigh the fish. The fish were put on one side of the scale and a 2 pound weight on the other. The Russo ancestor came up with an idea to be able to weigh 10 pounds of fish at a time. He filled a bucket with 10 pounds of fish. He placed the 10 pound bucket on one side of the scale, then a second bucket on the opposite side. The second bucket, which had holes in it so the water would drain, was filled with fish to balance the scale. He became quite popular with the fishermen who would call out to "the bucket man" when they had fish to sell.

At the age of 15, with one piece of luggage, Salvatore immigrated to the United States. He boarded the steamship Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm on March 17, 1895 in Naples, Campania, Italy. He was quartered on the steerage deck in compartment 4.

New York Harbor

After 15 days at sea, Salvatore arrived in New York harbor on April 1, 1895. By the time the steamships sailed into the Upper Bay, First and Second Class passengers had already been inspected and cleared to land by immigration officials who had come on board from the Quarantine Station at the Hudson River's mouth. Steerage passengers, however, were afforded no such privileges and their first steps on the mainland were brief. Disembarking on the Hudson River piers, they were summarily directed helter-skelter onto ferries which shuttled them to Ellis Island. Chartered by the steamship companies, these vessels were little better than open air barges, freezing in the winter, sweltering hot in the summer, and lacking toilet facilities and lifesaving equipment. Although the ferries were thought adequate for the short ride, busy days saw immigrants imprisoned on these vessels for hours while they waited their turn to land at Ellis Island. The harbor was often choked with steamships crammed with as many as twenty thousand passengers waiting to disembark and be ferried to Ellis Island. Sometimes new arrivals had to wait in steerage for days. Salvatore was cleared for entrance to the United States on April 3, 1895, two days after arriving in New York harbor.

After inspection, immigrants descended from the Registry down the "Stairs of Separation," so called because they marked the parting of the way for many family and friends with different destinations. Immigrants were directed toward the railroad ticket office and trains to points west, or to the island's hospital and detention rooms. Salvatore boarded a train for the approximately 6 day trip to San Francisco. His final destination was New York Landing (now Pittsburg), California. He joined his father, Antonino Russo, who had immigrated about 6 years prior.

Life in America

As with the rest of his family, Salvatore was a commercial fisherman by occupation. He was an educated man being able to read and write both Italian and English. He loved the stories of the knights of old and kept a book of their tales on his fishing boat. He named his boat "Andalaccio" for one of his favorite knights.

On November 30, 1903 in Antioch, Contra Costa, California, Salvatore married Francesca Costanzo, daughter of Pietro Costanzo and Maria Bruno. Francesca was born October 23, 1887 in Isola delle Femmine, Palermo Province, Sicily. One day after her 16th birthday, Francesca boarded the Sicilian Prince in the city of Palermo, Palermo Province, Sicily and sailed for America. She arrived at Ellis Island on November 9, 1903 and was married 21 days later. Francesca died February 28, 1980 in Pittsburg, Contra Costa, California. The following is her obituary from the February 29, 1980 edition of the Pittsburg Post Dispatch.

On June 10, 1935, Salvatore signed his papers declaring his intention to become a citizen of the United States.

Salvatore died December 7, 1937 at the Marine Hospital in San Francisco, San Francisco, California. He had suffered from high blood pressure for some time. His son, Frank, remembers getting the phone call while he was working in the cannery that his father had collapsed. He headed home immediately and rushed his father to one of the best hospitals at that time in San Francisco. The doctor examined Salvatore that night and said that he would see what he could do for him in the morning. Unfortunately, by morning it was too late. The following is his obituary from the December 8, 1937 edition of the Pittsburg Post Dispatch.

Rosary Slated For Sal Russo Friday Night

Rosary will be held at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Nuttman's parlors for Salvatore Russo, 58, who died at Marine hospital in San Francisco Tuesday of apoplexy.

Russo who had been ill about four months, resided at 124 West Fourth Street. A native of Sicily, he had lived in Pittsburg for the past 38 years and was a well know figure on the waterfront here.

Mass will be held at St. Peter's church at 9 a.m. Saturday and interment will be in Holy Cross cemetery.

Russo leaves his widow, Mrs. Frances Russo; six daughters, Helen, Marie, Ethel, Angie, Fray and Rose; and four sons, Anthony, Peter, Frank and Vincent.

From "They Came to America"
Site created and maintained by Linda Stephens Russo
Family links: 
  Antonino B Russo (1849 - 1911)
  Maddelena Bruno Russo (1853 - 1942)
  Francesca Frances Costanza Russo (1887 - 1980)*
  Peter Russo (1908 - 1990)*
  Frank Paul Russo (1910 - 2013)*
  Marie Russo Aiello (1913 - 2011)*
  Edorina Russo Pareno (1915 - 2009)*
  Rose Laura Russo Bartimioli (1926 - 2005)*
*Calculated relationship
Holy Cross Cemetery
Contra Costa County
California, USA
Created by: janicet
Record added: Aug 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95460517
Salvatore Bucket Russo
Added by: janicet
Salvatore Bucket Russo
Added by: Huck's Kid
Salvatore Bucket Russo
Added by: Huck's Kid
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